• Meuse-Rhine Gazette

Established EMR structures proving their worth in this time of crisis

In this time of crisis, the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation Euregio Meuse-Rhine is particularly committed to residents in the border region and can build on its networks and decades of work in Euroregional affairs. In addition to cross-border support measures to combat the crisis, the administration is also committed to the rapid opening up of borders.

In recent weeks the inhabitants of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, have been affected by closed borders and border controls. However, it is precisely in times of crisis that it is important not to act separately, but to support and help each other.

EGTC Meuse-Rhine Euroregion (EMR) structures that already work well together in normal times have now proven themselves in times of crisis:

  • EMRIC (Euregio Meuse-Rhine Incident and Crisis Management), the Euregional Crisis Cell, is the link between the EMR crisis teams and provides information on the situation and measures in the neighbouring country. The structure also monitors the number of available IC beds in the EMR and, if necessary, coordinates the transport of seriously ill COVID-19 patients from one EMR hospital to another. The numerous joint exercises, the created treaties, etc. are being fully exploited at this time.

  • The Grensinfopunt in Aachen, Eurode and Maastricht help cross-border workers and students with questions about wage compensation, tax law or simply about the essential reasons for being allowed to cross the border.

  • In case of initial difficulties with regard to border controls (who is allowed to cross the Belgian border for what reason?) the EMR, thanks to its network as mediator, was able to contribute to a pragmatic solution to the situation.

  • These solutions were communicated to all police forces in the EMR via NeBeDeAgPol (working group of the EMR Police Authorities). EPICC (Euregio Police Information & Cooperation Centre), in turn, passes on clues about suspects who have been caught by border controls. In this way, crime is also combated in times of crisis.

The dissemination of information is one of the EMR's main tasks at this time, so that processes can run smoothly and quickly. The interests of residents always come first with the question "How can people be helped quickly and pragmatically?"

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